Friday, May 21, 2010

New job! sorta

Only I manage to find a new part-time position when I start looking to have a real job on graduation. I'm glad they like me enough to make a spot for me! I moved from Marketing Science to Global Sales Technical Support this week. I'll be doing less crazy mathematical models, but I think I'm a lot more likely to see actual decisions being made based on data, which makes me happy. I am having to think about statistical significance carefully though, which is good for my brain. Our gimmick is business cases - explaining how well programs and projects worked, backed up by real numbers - with language and framing so that people who make decisions can use it. I think it's going to be a great skill to have for whatever business I end up in. So new job, new department, but same company, same hours and work situation.

We did buy a new toaster so that our appliances match. I think the matching can opener is one of the first things I ever bought for my sweetie - establishing early on how important the kitchen is to us both.
Vlad is confused by the camera. But cute! He had a checkup this week after being weened off his super expensive drugs - and he's doing GREAT! He's kind of tubby now, but not enough for us to worry, just enough to joke about. (The vet checked him over and said "He has butt cheeks!")

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dinner Detectives, Kitchen upgrade - we're all about food!

Saturday, some wonderful friends took us to a comedic mystery dinner theater show. It starts with everyone checking in, milling around and asking questions, then a seated dinner with periodic bursts of actor activity. They hand clues around to each table (about 90 people or so all together) and at the end, give you an answer sheet asking who did it and for as many details as you can give about how you know it was them. You did NOT need to actually talk to all the other people to get the clues to figure it out. Reading all those mystery novels seemed to pay off though - we won!
Wednesday, our refurbed KitchenAid stand mixer arrived. All those fancy cakes that have been a pain to make are now easy. The world's best brownies will be even better. (I'll finally beat the eggs for long enough) Pictured with the peanut butter blondies that it helped make. (Stand mixer not needed for this recipe, but I had to use it!) I sprinkled chocolate chips on them instead of messing with frosting. That same day, our new cooktop came in!

old and busted
new hotness

All the burners are usable! they self ignite! it's all shiny! *swoon* We may have to go out and buy a new toaster this weekend just so that all our appliances are cute. Yes, we're totally like that.

Taking suggestions for recipes that need 3 burners - cause now we can! woohoo!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Everything is blooming - even the weeds

grape hyacinths under the crabapple
The crabapple. We missed its most brilliant shade of pink, but its still pretty impressive.
The neighbor's apple tree. It will produce little green apples that Vlad will eat.

We had the tiniest sprinkle of snow this morning, but now it's totally gorgeous out. I'm trying to make a habit of doing at least one quick round of yard work every nice day - more because I want to get out in the nice day than because of the yardwork, though of course there is plenty to do!

I haven't quite conquered the no-knead bread. It just doesn't rise enough to suit me. Summer temps will prove whether it does better if it's warmer, which should give me an idea if it's worth it to do longer rises when it's cool. But it IS super super easy - it was great to have a batch sitting in the fridge when the dogs stole the last loaf of bread - new bread in just a few more hours, with almost no effort.

Working Version of No-Knead Bread (adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)
3 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tblsp yeast
3/4 c dry milk
1 c whole wheat flour
5 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 Tblsp coarse salt OR 2 tsp table salt

Makes 4 lbs. Can make a half recipe. Stir it all together in a bowl you can cover. Stir til all the flour gets integrated. Let it rise, covered, for 2 or 3 hours, then either shape for baking or refrigerate (covered). The book says it can stay in the fridge up to 14 days - I think it goes gross after about 7.

Use 1 1/2 lbs to make a loaf. Let rise 40 minutes if still warm, about an hour and 40 minutes if just out of the fridge. Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

It makes pretty good pitas - preheat the oven to 500, grab a handful and roll it out to about 1/8" thick - I think I need to err on the side of thicker, the thinner ones were tougher. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, put them straight from the oven into a big ziploc to get them to soften up.

Off to use up the last of the most recent batch. I've got a weird little bit left that I think I'll roll out and fill with chocolate chips to bake. Also it's time to feed the sourdough starter, so pizza for dinner. And I better not forget to spend some time outside!